Equality in Education – Why We Must Go All the Way

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In this paper I present and defend a highly demanding principle of justice in education that has not been seriously discussed thus far. According to the suggested approach, “all the way equality”, justice in education requires nothing short of equal educational outcome between all individual students. This means not merely between equally able children, or between children from different groups and classes, but rather between all children, regardless of social background, race, sex and ability. This approach may seem implausible at first, due to the far-reaching implications it entails, primarily its requirement to deny better-off children their advantage for the sake of equality. However the paper argues that all-the-way-equality, in fact, does a better job realizing the goals of justice in education than alternative conceptions of justice. It is further argued that at least some of the principle’s most radical consequences, those that make it seem counterintuitive, can be mitigated by balancing all-the-way-equality with competing interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-100
Number of pages18
JournalEthical Theory and Moral Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Distributive justice
  • Educational adequacy
  • Educational equality
  • Equality in outcome
  • Parental rights
  • Philosophy of education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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